I lay down and pulled the blanket over me. The Boyfriend and I messed with the blankets for a moment, trying to get them evenly distributed. Finally, we got situated and he fell asleep. I lay awake for a bit, my mind slowly going over the thoughts of the day and how it had gone.
Foremost on my mind was shadow-work. I wondered briefly if I should try again and decided to give it a go. I was still plenty awake and had no fear of falling asleep any time soon and I figured that, if it worked, I might have a better time sleeping, if only because I might feel more exhausted. So I closed my eyes and began to retreat into my mind. I knew I wanted to try the meditation that Jess described to me, so I went with that, trying to find a hole in the ground to descend into. Funnily, and maybe a bit randomly, I found myself staring at an old manhole cover near the townhouse where I grew up, just on the other side of the river in Missouri. I shrugged and knelt beside it, pulling it up and setting it aside. Some of the older kids in the neighborhood would use the paths beneath the manholes in our neighborhood to get around, mostly to school. I remembered hearing their voices coming from below while riding my bike, wondering just who was down there.
I never found out.
In the meditation, though, it was quiet, but for the sound of water running through the sewer. The water surprised me. When we were kids, my brother and I accidentally dropped something down into that sewer and my mother had to go down and get it. There wasn’t really any water down there, which was why the older kids used it to get around. This time, though, the water was flowing steadily. It was blue-green and it shone, as if lit from within. I climbed the ladder down into it and splashed my way down the echoing hall toward a brighter area ahead of me.
When I got to the end of that pathway, I was looking into a large pit. All around me were openings to paths similar to my own, pouring the glowing, blue-green water into the pit. The water within it circled slightly, descending slowly until it met a dark spot where everything disappeared.
I knew what came next, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t jump into the pit.
Call me whatever you like, but I know better than to just randomly jump into strange situations. I prefer to get a better look at what’s going on before making my stance known. It’s just how I am. So I looked around and saw there were small ledges on the walls that I could use to get to the other paths like the one I had just taken. I turned left and climbed the ledges there.
I never turn left.
As I was hanging onto the thin ledges, I looked down into the pit. It hadn’t changed. The center was still dark and unknown, the water still pouring steadily into the pit, still shining slightly, like a green-glass bottle that’s been backlit by a candle. I leaned backward, further and further, until my toes were the only thing connecting me to the wall. I was parallel to the paths, sticking out of the wall like a human nail.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take the plunge. Not just yet, anyway. I wanted to know more.
I came back to myself, back to The Boyfriend snoring quietly beside me, and I thought on what I had just experienced. I was surprised that I managed to find the pit, especially after the failure of last time, and especially since I have such an issue with concentration. But it was like I was being guided along, like I had a new focus on getting this done.
The pit I saw, though I know what it yields, is beautiful. It is down deep within the sewers, but the water still shines with its own personal beauty. The walls are damp with the spray from each spout, the small ledges slick and slimed by it all, and yet there is still beauty there.